We had been looking forward to doing this walk but their had been some doubts whether it would happen given the lousy weather.
Sunday morning was glorious sunshine and not much cloud at all.
We drove into Cwm Nantcol and parked up at the end of the road at Maes-y-garnedd, a remote hill farm. The sign said £2 parking/ car which was paid at the farm house.
Setting off along a good track up Bwlch Drws-Ardudwy our spirits were high as the scenery on both sides of the valley is beautiful and somewhat rugged.
Behind us was the clear view of Moelfre.
In front our goal. Rhinog Fach.
The path undulates and gets very boggy in parts but is mainly in good condition. When the path crosses the 350 metre contour keep a sharp lookout on the right hand side for a vertical track up a very steep mountain side. This can easily be missed in poor conditions.
Even in good conditions it can be mistaken for a stream, but once across the wall and on the path it becomes obvious.
The photo doesn't do the path any justice, it is very steep. This photo was taken about 3/4 of the way up and is looking straight down into the valley.
Once the near vertical levels out, the route is clear and there is some gradually rising ground ahead for the legs to recover and stop shaking.
We decided to have a 10 minute break here.
On reaching the 1st top, the northerly point, the wind was very fierce and you had to shout to be heard.
We made our way along the ridge where we came to a wall with the summit cairn above it. We stopped here just for a few minutes to take a photo and then we got off the top before we were blown off. I had to hold onto my cap or else it would have been down the valley.
Below the summit we found a sheltered spot and had lunch and then carefully made our way down to the col above Llyn Hywel. Great care has to be taken getting down here as it was a bit tricky with the wind and the rain. The slabs were very slippy.
Again the track up to the skyline of Y Llethr is steep but not problamatic. The views across the valleys were becoming less and less as the cloud came in.
By the time we hit the snow which had accumulated against the wall at the top the visibility had deteriorated.
We knew that from here the route was a bit hit and miss as there was no definate path back to the start point, but there was enough open country to plot our own route.
We headed for some old mine workings and a sheepfold which were marked on the map. The terrain was rough heather and rocks and not that pleasant to walk on.
We followed a wall down into the valley bottom and crossed a stream where it wasn't too deep.
From here we followed a wall heading north which joined up with our initial path and from here it was an easy stroll back to the cars. Just as the heavens absolutely poured down.
The walk had been tough, but very enjoyable. It's a terrific area, quite rugged hills. We only saw 2 other people all day and its a backpackers paradise with lots of good water about.
We set off around 10 o'clock and we got back to the car at 4.30pm. We stopped for about 30/40 mins in total for lunch and coffee and to rejuvenate the legs after some of the steep pulls.
There is much more that can be done in this area, we will return soon maybe.
(More pics to follow)